Women Flashcards Preview

Religion and Culture in the Middle East > Women > Flashcards

Flashcards in Women Deck (22):

islam and long term traditions

Interpretation of islam associated with long term traditions although change over time. Change from inside the tradition – eg members of catholic church tryin g to change teaching on homosexuality from within the church. Grass roots almost. Outside change is usually totally dramatic change. You see both these changes in muslim countries


Cairo in 1920 - veil

women being veiled is a sign of your urban sophistication and your modernity. Contrast with rural areas muslim communities women wouldn’t be generally veiled – practicality, working outside etc. So by 1920’s sign of wealth and modernity if as a man you are keeping wife indoors and if you let her out it is covered up.


Regional differences veil

Lebanon more free of veil Saudi not


Feminism and Sha'arawi

After World War I, many women took part in political actions against the British rule. In 1919, Sha`arawi helped organize the largest women's anti-British demonstration. In defiance of British orders to disperse, the women remained still for three hours in the hot sun.

Sha`arawi made a decision to stop wearing her veil in public after her husband's death in 1922. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women.

In 1923, Sha`arawi founded and became the first president of the Egyptian Feminist Union, after returning from the International Woman Suffrage Alliance Congress in Rome she removed her face veil in public for the first time, a signal event in the history of Egyptian feminism.

he helped lead the first women's street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women's Central Committee.


women and the colonial movement

Women coming in the sphere as a context of anti-colonial movement
Desire for women to take part in the national struggle.
Women coming into the sphere of public life doing it in terms of nationalism rather than intrinsic value of womens lives


Leila Khaled

is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and an airline hijacker who was later released in a prisoner exchange for civilian hostages kidnapped by her fellow PFLP members.[1][2] The PFLP is described as a terrorist organization by the United States,[3] Canada,[4] and the European Union.[5]

Khaled came to public attention for her role in a 1969 hijacking and one of four simultaneous hijackings the following year as part of Black September


Tarab Abdul Hadi

Tarab Abdul Hadi (also transliterated Tarab 'Abd al-Hadi) (1910 Jenin[1] –1976 Cairo) was a Palestinian Muslim activist and feminist.[2][3] In the late 1920s, she co-founded the Palestine Arab Women's Congress (PAWC), the first women's organization in British Mandate Palestine, and was an active organizer in its sister group, the Arab Women's Association (AWA)


Historiography - Mountain against the sea -Salim Tamari

shift that ,marriage no longer pragmatic but notions of being in love.


colonialism and women and validation

Colonial officials: Islam as backwards
Most obvious sources of weakness. No state beuracracies to collect taxes, couldn’t fund military because. Bad organisation of military and why European were able to overpower. Orientalsit discourse - Not how middle east states organised but the culture – enlightenment, European society and culture.
These practices harshly criticised and islam seen as the problem. Women and their status featured in this discourse. Women and oppressed status used to justify their colonistion in this region. An excuse to denounce idle east as backwards.


Cromer , colonial regime, women

Cromer was opposed to suffragette movement in Britain yet part of the colonial establishment that used women as an excuse for the colonial project – Continues today – Afghanistan women was used as part of a reason to invade. Legitimising narrative but not the reason for the invasion
Egypt home to various Egyptians who wanted to change womens status. Huda Sharawi, Qasim Amin, Zaynab al –Ghaza


Qasim Amin

Qasim Amin was considered by many as the Arab world's "first feminist". An Egyptian philosopher, reformer, judge, member of Egypt's aristocratic class, and central figure of the Nahda Movement, Amin advocated Egyptian women's rights. He argued that refusing women their natural rights and treating them as "slaves of their husbands" with no identity of their own kept the nation in the dark.[3]


Zaynab Al-Ghazali

Zeinab al-Ghazali promulgated a feminism that was inherently Islamic. She believed in a "notion of habituated learning through practical knowledge[1]" of Islam and the Qu'ran, and felt that women's liberation, economic rights, political rights, etc. could be achieved through a more intimate understanding of Islam.[2] al-Ghazali also believed that a woman's primary responsibility was within the home, but that she should also have the opportunity to participate in political life if she so chose.[2] al-Ghazali's Patriarchal Islamist stance allowed her to publicly disagree with several issues that "put her at odds with male Islamist leaders"


Muslims women association

Her weekly lectures to women at the Ibn Tulun Mosque drew a crowd of three thousand, which grew to five thousand during holy months of the year. Besides offering lessons for women, the association published a magazine, maintained an orphanage, offered assistance to poor families, and mediated family disputes. The association also took a political stance, demanding that Egypt be ruled by the Qur'an.


Legal womens issues

Personal status laws governing marriage, divorce, inheritance, guardianship. Many countries women are the ward of their father and then ward after marriage. Needing permission from guardian to travel or get a oassport. Different terms for men and women inheritance


Social issues for women

Position of women in the public sphere.
Women as social poltical eladers
Social position of Women
 \Slavery mentioned in past but reinterpretation not mention
hadd Punishments mandates directly by god, execution, theft, false accusations sex outside marriage – Saudi? But others reject this.
2 competing norms in human rights discourse.
Efforts to enact humanrights charters. Same issues inrespect to gender, ethnic minorities.


Islam and womends rights: A clash?

Muslims show that koran granted womean a number pof public rights not given to women in the Europe befor 19c. Women have some rights but male guardians. Teeament of non muslims, sexual minorities, or to change religion or atheist. Debates as to what islam is. How to reconcile. Clash is not with Islam per se but a clash between international definitions of human rights and interpretations of Islamic law.


Is the problem realy with Islam?

Problem not with islam but how interpreted.
Situation is not necessarily fixed –
Rich tradition, religious intellectual traditions. Idea that all humans are equal but women should ot speak in religious services – bible and koran
Different communities create social and legal practices based on these norms. Leaders justify the social and legal practices based on some of these norms.


tradition and legitimisation

Draw on part of a tradition to legitimise practices., they change over time, new social and legal practices, create new links between tradition and new practice. EG Christian trandition cstholic church opposed to human rights 1791, pope pias 6 wrote letter n protest – 37 mins. 1960s Vatican 2 church came I line with many human rights norms.



reinterpretation of Islamic sources.
Islamic law has changed significantly over time.


Spectrum of women’s activism

Leading prayer in front of men - has done this several places around the world. Given Friday sermons. This is sufficiently controversial. First done in NY and had to move the event from the mosque to a protestant church
Mosque instructor recently living in Damascus to re-islamise society by teaching womens first duties to husband and family. On the liberal end of the spectrum within this…


Amina Wadud

From 1989 to 1992 she worked as an assistant professor in Quranic Studies at the International Islamic University Malaysia. While there, she published her dissertation Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective and co-founded the non-governmental organization Sisters in Islam.[1] The book is still used by the NGO as a basic text for activists and academics,[2] but it is banned in the United Arab Emirates.

In 1992 Wadud accepted a position as Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University. She retired in 2008, and took up a position as a visiting professor at the Center for Religious and Cross Cultural Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Wadud has spoken at universities, grass roots level, government and non-government forums at various gatherings throughout the United States, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe. Some of her speaking engagements have included the keynote address "Islam, Justice, and Gender" at the 2008 international conference Understanding Conflicts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, held at Aarhus University, Denmark; a paper titled “Islam Beyond Patriarchy Through Gender Inclusive Qur’anic Analysis” at the 2009 Musawah - Equality and Justice in the Family conference;[3] the Regional Conference on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Societies, hosted by United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the International Centre for Islam and Pluralism (ICIP) in Jakarta, Indonesia, in March 2009;[4] a workshop on "Sharia and Human Rights" at the University of Bergen, Norway in late November 2009;[5] a public lecture titled "Muslim Women and Gender Justice: Methods, Motivation and Means" to the Faculty of Arts, Asia Institute, at the University of Melbourne, Australia in February 2010;[6] a lecture on “Tawhid and Spiritual Development for Social Action” at Muslims for Progressive Values at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California in July 2011.

Wadud has also openly advocated "pluralism" and "equality" as an endorsement of a LGBT lifestyle.[7][8]


Wadud and controversy

1994 sermon[edit]
In August 1994, Wadud delivered a Friday khutbah (sermon) on "Islam as Engaged Surrender" at the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa.[9] At the time, this was unheard of in the Muslim world. As a result, there were attempts in Virginia by some Muslims to have her dismissed from her position at Virginia Commonwealth University.

2005 prayer leadership[edit]
More than a decade later, Wadud decided to lead Friday prayers (salat) for a congregation in the United States, breaking with Islamic laws, which allows only male imams (prayer leaders) in mixed-gender congregations. (See Women as imams for a discussion of the issue.) On Friday 18 March 2005, Wadud acted as imam for a congregation of about 60 women and 40 men seated together, without any gender separation. The call to prayer was given by another woman, Suheyla El-Attar. It was sponsored by the Muslim Women's Freedom Tour, under the leadership of Asra Nomani, by the website "Muslim WakeUp!," and by members of the Progressive Muslim Union.[10] A small number of protestors gathered outside against the prayer.

The gathering was held in the Synod House, owned by and adjoining the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, after three mosques had refused to host the service and the Sundaram Tagore Gallery withdrew its offer after a bomb threat.[11] Wadud said while she initially wanted to host the prayer in a neutral place, but after the bomb threats, she decided on the church, not to make a statement, but because she wanted to conduct the prayers in a sacred place.[12] She additionally stated, "I don't want to change Muslim mosques. I want to encourage the hearts of Muslims, both in their public, private and ritual affairs, to believe they are one and equal."

2013 Madras University controversy[edit]
Wadud was to deliver a lecture on 29 July 2013 on 'Gender and Reform in Islam' at the University of Madras in Chennai, India. The scheduled lecture was cancelled because police cited possible law and order problems in view of opposition by Muslim groups.[13] S.M. Syed Iqbal, state secretary of Indiya Towheed Jamad said that she comes with the backing of the US government and offers so-called progressive views that are against the basic tenets of Islam, and that his outfit would protest in front of the venues if she were allowed to talk.[14]